A 99-year-old Tennessee church member who has read through the Bible 60 times recently embarked on her 61st journey through Scripture because, she says, “God shows me something new every time.”
The woman, known as “Miss Helen” to members of her congregation at The Church at Station Hill, in Spring Hill, Tenn., began reading through the Bible the 61st time after learning of a challenge by pastor Jay Strother, who urged church members to read through the Bible in one year.
The Baptist & Reflector recounted the inspiring story. The Bible-reading plan is part of Strother’s “The Whole Church in the Whole Word” challenge.
“I’ve been through the Bible 60 times and I might as well make it 61,” she told Strother.
The U.S. was embroiled in World War II the first time she read through the Bible. The challenge that year was “Read the Bible through in ’42.”
Miss Helen still attends the Sunday morning 8 a.m. service, in person, the Baptist & Reflector reported.
Strother asked her, “Miss Helen, why do you still do it?” She replied, “God shows me something new every time.”
“She said you’d think I’ve heard these stories, but every time I read it or hear it being read, I catch something new,” Strother told the Baptist & Reflector.
Miss Helen’s commitment to reading Scripture, Strother said, should convict and inspire other Christians to read their Bible.
“You could read the entire Bible through out loud in about 72 hours,” he said. “So in just a little more in the time that people usually watch TV – the typical American in two weeks – you could read the Bible through.”
Strother added, “So, it’s not that we don’t have the time, it’s that we don’t choose the time.”
More than 550 others signed up for the challenge after Miss Helen committed to read through the Bible again, Strother told the Baptist & Reflector.
“I love the idea that our senior saints can lead the way in setting that example for us,” he said.
Miss Helen turns 100 in March.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Halfpoint
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.